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Flamma gains a North American foothold near Philadelphia

The Italian drug-services firm has acquired a former Teva research and manufacturing facility

by Rick Mullin
July 4, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 27


A photo of the interior of Flamma's plant in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Credit: Flamma
Flamma's pilot plant at Malvern, Pennsylvania, will support small-scale commercial production of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Flamma, an Italian pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), has acquired Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ chemical synthesis center in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Financial details were not disclosed.

The 3,700 m2 facility near Philadelphia will net Flamma its first research and manufacturing asset for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in North America. The company has two such sites in Italy and one in China.

The purchase brings Flamma about 1,800 m2 of laboratory space. In addition, the site features a pilot plant with hydrogenation capabilities comprised of four reactors ranging from 200 to 400 L, six standard kilo-lab suites, and one kilo-lab suite for highly-potent API production. The plant will be dedicated to developing APIs from the preclinical stage to small-volume commercial production.

The former Teva facility, which closed last year, also has room for expansion. Flamma expects to employ 60 people there by 2023, according to Kenneth Drew, senior director of North American sales and business development.

Flamma is one of several European drug-services firms that have been looking for a foothold in North America, where a wave of consolidation has snapped up many of the independent CDMOs.

Earlier this year, UK-based Sterling Pharma Solutions acquired CiVentiChem’s facility in Cary, North Carolina, one of a handful of remaining independent CDMO sites. Among the European service firms that already have assets in North America are Hovione, a Portuguese firm with a technology center in East Windsor, New Jersey, and Italy’s Fabbrica Italiana Sintetici, with a plant in LaSalle, Quebec.

Drew says Flamma will be able to transfer early-stage projects from the new plant to its facilities in Italy or China, an attractive option for US customers. The Malvern plant will also provide a base for growth at Flamma. “Having a US cGMP facility provides further flexibility and options to customers as Flamma continues to grow its R&D teams,” Drew says.

Meanwhile, Flamma has added a cGMP kilo lab and a high-containment laboratory to handle genotoxic materials at its headquarters in Chignolo d’Isola. The company also intends to invest $10 million in a new building at its headquarters to further expand R&D capabilities.



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